Tammie Rubin wins $15,000 Tito’s Prize

Tammie Rubin
Tammie Rubin. Photo by Whitney Devin, courtesy of the artist.

Tammie Rubin has been named the winner of the Tito’s Prize. The annual award, a program of art nonprofit Big Medium, comes with $15,000 and a solo exhibition in the Big Medium Gallery which will open March 2023.

The prize is funded by Tito’s, the Austin-based spirits company.

“What an honor being awarded the 2022 Tito’s Prize,” said Rubin in a press statement. “I’m genuinely grateful for the selection and animated by the support and expansion this award will provide.

“My sculptural practice is dependent on tools, space, and equipment, this financial support is tremendous in that regard. I look forward to experimenting and creating new work for the exhibition at Big Medium Gallery. It is a space I know well and I wish to use as a laboratory, a place of conversation, development, and possible collaboration. Thank you to Tito’s Handmade Vodka, this year’s panel, and Big Medium.”

Rubin was selected unanimously by a curatorial panel that included Allison Glenn, writer, and independent curator; Elyse Gonzales, Director of Ruby City Museum in San Antonio; and Coka Treviño, Curator and Director of Programming at Big Medium.

Rubin works mainly in ceramic, creating table-top sculptures in fragile porcelain, their surfaces highly decorated with hair-thin piping or tiny dots and spikes. Using intricate motifs, Rubin delves into themes involving mapping, migration, magical thinking, identity, and sensual desire. With her ongoing “Always & Forever,” for example, Rubin marked out routes of the Great Migration, when approximately 6 million African Americans from the rural South to the cities of the North.

An associate professor of art at St. Edward’s University Rubin has exhibited widely, including at Project Row Houses, the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College, Austin’s George Washington Carver Museum, The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Women & Their Work Gallery, and C24 Gallery in New York, She is represented by Galleri Urbane, in Dallas, and Rivalry Projects in Buffalo.

Related: ‘Disrupting Practice: To make a new series of sculpture, Tammie Rubin makes her art-making public’

Big Medium also recently named three Austin artists for its Desert Door residency, a partnership with Texas sotol distillery Desert Door.

Elizabeth Hudson, Jieun Beth, and Jesus Treviño will each enjoy a one-week stay on the Desert Door ranch in West Texas, along with a $1,000 stipend. Artists are encouraged to draw inspiration from the raw West Texas landscape. Work by the trio will be featured in a group show during this year’s Austin Studio Tour in November.